What writers & others say
“Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines, hidden under the weedy mass of many years and experiences. Hit a tripwire of smell, and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.”
— Diane Ackerman, author, A Natural History of the Senses
“Claire had read that the portion of the brain responsible for processing smells was one of the more primitive parts, making it in the sense that aroused the most emotions.
“The same article had talked about what smells people associated with their childhoods, saying that people over fifty associated being a kid with natural scents, like bread baking or the sweetish smell of manure, while anyone younger than fifty thought of childhood when they smelled artificial smells, like the scent of crayons or Play-Doh.
“For Claire, it happened when she smelled a particular kind of cheap plastic — a reminder of a doll that had miraculously materialized under the Christmas tree straight from the pages of the Sears Wish Book. Or sometimes at work when she ripped open a freshly printed pack of forms she would be back in fifth grade again, sniffing the milky scent of mimeograph paper.”